|48| Quick "Fixes" for Afro-Textured Hair: A Disturbing "Trend"...

Wednesday, 6.27.12...

I have been pondering posting about this topic for awhile, because I made a declaration a few months back that I would exude a more positive level of energy through this forum.  Well, I just have an overwhelming need to air my thoughts about this, so I will let the perceived viewpoints of it fall where they may.

As you all should know by now, I am ALWAYS online looking at all-things-natural-hair, be it a natural hair group, articles, blogs, NEWS, YouTube, etc.  Over the past month or so, I have noticed a "trend" in several groups that quite frankly disturbs me...people using "unconventional" methods to grow their hair faster.  Now, I know this phenomenon of folks of ALL races & gender wanting their hair to grow fast has been present for decades, but in addition to my feelings about the expansive weave/wig industry, I am particularly disturbed about African-American women who have "gone natural" for whatever reason, with expectations their hair is going to miraculously grow several inches RIGHT after they've decided to chop off the relaxed hair, but when they see it isn't growing at a subjectively "ideal" rate or it doesn't look how they thought it would look (in comparison to someone else), resort to "unconventional" methods to grow their hair quickly.  The "trend" example of the day iiiiiiiis (drum roll, please)...

...the use of a very popular feminine cream primarily used to kill infections..."down there"!

I will admit, when I heard about this last year sometime, I immediate fell into the "AreYouKIDDIN'Me?!?" mentality, but I think the initial shock then, was the simple fact it is a cream used for "down there" and the VISUAL of using it on your SCALP just seemed "nasty" (for lack of a better term)!  BUT, the inquisitive side of me always has to find out the who/what/when/why/and HOW of something, so ultimately a bit of reasoning comes into play and at the end of the day, it comes down to the ingredients used AND the fact there are SEVERAL marketed products out there intended for one use, but folks find many different ways of making it work for them.  For example, I know folks (even in my own household/circle) who may think it's odd as all get out that I use mayonnaise, egg, honey, yogurt, etc. on my hair, because they have always connected those items as something you consume for "internal use", not externally.  So, I "get it" why folks are trying the cream, but where my "disturbed-ness" comes into play is when I start to think about the deep-seeded REASONING for wanting to try it in the first place!  

As a whole, I feel "Generation X" (which includes myself), "Generation Y/Millennials", and LARGELY "Generation Z", have, unfortunately, adopted the "quick-fix/easywork-around/whatcanyoudoforME" mentality and have lost the understanding of having to WORK to get a desired result.  So, that's where I'm going with this.  I can expand that to SO many scenarios, but for the purposes of this blog entry, I'll just stick to hair!  LOL

I, too, use what could be considered as "unconventional" methods at times in doing everyday things.  For example, I use mayo, honey, egg, etc. on my hair because I believe them to be "healthier" forms of adding protein and rebuilding/strengthening the structure of my hair strands and I know EXACTLY what "ingredients" I'm putting on my hair.  When I'm in "eat-right" mode, I read every package label and I create/alter recipes & cook "from-scratch" meals just so I'll know WHAT I'm specifically going to be feeding my body.  When I want to lose weight, I know elevating my heart rate for set periods of time & being active in SOME form, are effective in that effort.  However, the common denominator in my "unconventional-ism" is EFFORT!  This ultimately sparks the basis of my concern when I see people resorting to "other" methods to achieve things that should and WOULD be accomplished with effort, patience, and persistence!

Look, I'm only going to speak from the stand-point of there being no medically-related reasons contributing to hair loss or scalp conditions, but the whole 'growing hair quickly with feminine cream' thing makes me shake my head...REAL HARD!  I instantly think, 'what's wrong with the average of 1/2" per month of growth?'  'What's wrong with being "ok" with the length of your hair as it is in that moment and simply finding ways to make it work for you (i.e. hair accessories)?'  'What's wrong with just keeping the scalp clean by simply shampooing to help promote a healthy environment for your hair to grow?'  'What's wrong with massaging the scalp to help stimulate blood flow, which supposedly helps to promote hair growth?'  'What's wrong with drinking more water, or ensuring what you're eating contains a sufficient amount of nutrients?'  My point is, what's wrong with making day-to-day, LIFESTYLE changes to NATURALLY help your hair grow?  That, and PATIENCE? 

I keep "preaching" this, but developing a routine in your hair care, while staying consistent, will give you results.  I use myself as the prime example.  When I chopped my hair off two years ago, I was bald along both sides of my temples.  Due to the kinky twist extensions I had worn for six months and constant tension, my hair strands were literally pulled out of their follicles!  This pic was from 4.11.10, the day I STUPIDLY had the kinky twists re-done...these twists were SO tight, the bald spots you see actually occurred WHILE the girl was adding the extensions to my hair...the twists were pulled RIGHT out of my scalp!  Yet, I STILL let her continue...AAAAAND I kept these twists in for another two months and MORE twists came out!!  *SMH*:  

On top of that, after I chopped, (though it happened VERY quickly for me), I had to visually & mentally adjust and accept myself with shorter-than-usual hair that I wasn't "used" to and had NO practice in knowing how to work with it.  Here's a pic of me the day after, 7.7.10, with a poor-attempt at trying to hide the baldness with a headband!  LOL (every time I look at this picture, it reminds me how grateful I am to have "grown" from this!!!): 

Once, the acceptance settled in, I, immediately, went into 'research, research, research'...'practice, practice, practice' mode...and never thought once to find a "growhairQUICK" remedy.  I knew the hair was gonna grow back eventually and I had resolved I was just going to wear headbands and scarves until it did!  LOL  

In all seriousness, though, if you've been following along with my hair relationship, yes, my goal is to ultimately grow my hair to waist-length and YES, I have expressed some impatience in that effort, BUT I know that's not gonna happen anytime soon.  It's going to take a good 4-5+ years to reach.  When I do, I don't necessarily plan to KEEP it that length because my only purpose in setting that goal in the first place is to prove tightly-coiled, afro-textured hair CAN grow with a "disciplined", but simplistic effort.  I, overall, just want a length that gives me an abundance of opportunities to experiment with different styles.

But, back to my initial point...I LOVE the fact more women and men of color are transitioning back to the state of natural hair, but I feel there is still a lot of work to be done in the execution of it.  FREE your mind, LEARN your hair and what it takes to nurture it, naturally, and the rest will follow!  ッ  You don't need all that "quick-fix" stuff to don fabulously textured hair, so STOP IT!  LOLOLOL :)

To wrap this up, (though this warrants MUCH more discussion, but I've already typed WAY more than I intended to), I'll quickly touch on another "disturbing" factor I see in this "trend".  When I see people feeling the need to use these "quick-fix" remedies to "care" for their hair, I feel it continues to shine an ever-glowing 'search light' on a level of insecurity and continued non-acceptance of self & the negatively-conditioned viewpoint of afro-textured hair as a whole.

In many cases, "we" (myself included) have been told & shown since we were little girls/boys what "good hair" was SUPPOSED to be...and it generally wasn't that hair that was growing out of OUR heads.  Unfortunately, our parents didn't really know better and felt the need to resort to "other" measures to get it as close as possible to match that perception.  The word "transitioning" is used so loosely in reference to "going natural", but wearing our hair in its natural state should not be as complicated as many make it out to be...when deciding to "go there", ensure there is a MENTAL transition as well.  Once that level of acceptance is reached, you will discover the relationship & journey with your "natural" does not at all warrant a need for a quick-fix remedies, but simply long-term CARE.

Afro-Texturally Speaking...


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